Posted by: zebe912 | November 2, 2008

When wool won’t shrink (and you want it to)

Last weekend, we did a whole bunch of fall things, as you can see by scrolling down.  One of those things, I said I’d blog about later:  “Lastly, I’m trying to felt a wool sweater so I can make a hat.  That post will come once I get done boiling the sweater on the stove. ”  So here’s the scoop.

Last winter I found a cute pair of brown heels on sale which my ankles will only tolerate because they are Sofft brand with arch support.

The first time I wore them, they made me think of 1920’s era clothing, probably because of the  flower accent on the straps.  This summer I found a dress on clearance, I think for $8 at a boutique (that I’m usually afraid will charge me just to walk in the door), which was close enough to the dress I pictured in my head that could go with the shoes.

Fast forward to Halloween:  I still hadn’t found a reason to wear the dress, or the shoes again for that matter.  We  just don’t dress up to go out (read: husband hates it), and if I wear a skirt to work, it MUST be long (since I crawl on the floor with kids) and heels don’t work when you are carrying musical instruments from classroom to classroom like a pack mule all day (and have already endured two ankle surgeries).  I wanted a “just in case we get invited somewhere” costume and realized that I could just be a 1920’s girl for Halloween.  At least the outfit would get one wearing that way.  I felt I was missing something if it was going to be a costume.

So I did a little research and discovered that a hat was what I wanted.  I knew I couldn’t afford to buy the one I really liked on Etsy (maybe minus the fans), and I didn’t figure it would get here in time anyway. So I decided to make one.  I searched knitting patterns, but knew I didn’t have time to finish & felt one the “normal” way.  My knitting skills just aren’t that polished yet.

Instead, I felted a sweater and made a hat out of that.  $4.23 at the Salvation Army for a chocolate brown wool sweater, a futile run through the washing machine, at least a half hour boiling on the stove to felt it down,  and a few mock ups made with fleece scraps, and here’s my brown wool cloche hat.  My mock ups started out sort of a heart shape because it was a Vneck sweater and I thought I could get away with only one seam that way.  But it was a little too Peter Pan like for my taste.  After a few trials, I ended up with matching bell-shaped pieces that got sewn together and turned right side out.  (Go figure that “cloche” translates to “bell”. Duh.)

If I’d had more time, I would have lined it, and it really needed to be stiffer (I tried, but it just wouldn’t shrink more.  Go figure. ) so I could shape the back brim better (the ribbon is supposed to sit along the brim, but it’s sort of just floating as it is.  But for a first try both felting, and hat making, and a quick effort at that, I am pleased.  I can tweak this one, or try again.  I’d still really like to knit one and then felt it so that I don’t have the side seams throwing things off.  I also want to make some sort of flower accent that resembles the shoes.

We also, never wound up with a party to go to, so it was good that I didn’t spend all kinds of time trying to create or find a perfect hat, because it wouldn’t have been worn except into a tiny bar where I was one of 3 people dressed up at all in the whole place.  I didn’t even bother with make up because we weren’t really going anywhere.  I had it on only because I had gone through the effort of making the hat and I thought it deserved to be worn.  I even had to change in the parking lot since we’d been traveling.  I do wish I had a little better photos though.  A wrap, some gloves, and jewelry would have been a nice touch too.  I hope the rest of you who made costumes (or parts of them) had better venues in which to show them off!

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Responses

  1. Very cute! I’m glad that you wore it if only for you. 🙂

  2. Omg adorable costume! Love those shoes…
    /Clara


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